The cost of care can be steep in the US, depending on your medical needs and the length and type of care required. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways for savvy patients to reduce the cost of care and ensure they are getting the best value for money.
It is important to put care and thought into reducing the cost of your medical bills without compromising the quality of your treatment. One of the best things you can do is plan for all the possibilities. Here are some great ways to help you reduce the cost of your care.
Hospitals and clinics are often willing to negotiate a discounted rate for more common procedures. This is because they don’t want to lose you as a patient to a lower-cost facility. It is always worth discussing the cost and finding out whether they will be willing to provide a discount. Some organizations are also willing to negotiate prices for those facing financial difficulties. Always negotiate your medical bills, as many patients have seen success in doing so.
Use Generic Drugs
Switching from branded to generic drugs can be a great way to cut costs in your care. Generic drugs have the same active ingredients as branded medication but often at a fraction of the cost. Talk to your physician when they prescribe you medication and request the generic version of any drug. You could also ask whether there are any over the counter alternatives to the medicines they recommend, as these may also work out cheaper.
Raise Your Fitness Levels
Staying fit and healthy can help reduce the need for medical care in the first place. You should do some exercise every day. Even five or ten minutes of exercise per day can reduce the chances of you developing a host of potentially costly health issues. It can be helpful to incorporate exercise into your daily life. For instance, you could walk or cycle to work, take the stairs instead of elevators and walk to your coworkers’ desks instead of sending an email.
Eating right is another factor that can prevent the need for medical interventions. Ensure you get plenty of wholegrain foods, fruit and vegetables in your diet. It can also be beneficial to include vitamin supplements to help ensure your body is getting all the vital things it needs. While junk food is fine as an occasional treat, it should not make up a central part of your diet.
Have Regular Health Screenings
Health screenings can help catch potential illnesses before they progress, reducing the cost of managing or curing them. You should look for a clinic that offers medical screening, as they are often much more cost-effective than visiting the hospital. An MRI can be an excellent way to screen for various illnesses.
You could consider getting one yearly, ensuring you will discover any issues in good time. Find out more from the medical experts at Ezra about the MRI cost out of pocket. Paying out of pocket can often be cheaper overall than paying through your insurance.
Make Sure The Charges Are Correct
After any treatment, request an itemized bill of your care. Go through the bill and ensure that all charges are correct. If you think there has been a mistake, discuss this with your doctor and the billing department. You could also request a copy of your medical chart to cross-reference and ensure that the items on your bill are all correct.
Request An Affordable Payment Plan
Many clinics and hospitals will be willing to provide you with a payment plan to help you make payments over time. Most billing departments are willing to work with patients to help them work out ways to pay in full. You should ensure that any payment plan will be manageable and avoid setting up a plan that will be too great a drain on your monthly income.
Research The Typical Cost Of Care
Understanding the typical cost of care can be a great way to ensure you get value for money. By knowing how much is typical to pay for various procedures and treatments, you will be in a better place to negotiate. Before any treatment, ask your doctor what it will entail, including any medication, procedures, and hospital stays necessary.
Get To Know The Billing Staff
Forming a relationship with the billing staff at the facility you use can be a great way to reduce the cost of your care. Talk to the billing staff about your medical bills and ask them about ways to reduce or spread the cost.
Medical bills can be a major headache, making medical care more stressful than it needs to be. There are plenty of ways to reduce and mitigate the cost of your care, so it is important to do your homework and take the steps necessary to reduce your bill. Talk to your physician and the billing department, and don’t be afraid to be pushy when it comes to negotiating your bills.
Click here for full podcast playlist.